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Hair Loss/Coal Tar for MPB

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Question
Hi Dr. Panagotacos,
I suffer from seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis. Coal tar shampoo such as t/gel gives me some temporary relief at times.

However, reading the original Propecia trials, it looks like all participants were required to use Tgel shampoo whether or not they were using finasteride or placebo. If you actually look at the graph that compares hair counts between finasteride and placebo groups, the placebo group seems to have stabilized for about 6 months before their hair counts drop. The only explanation I can think of is somehow the tgel helped them.

I researched a bit online and there is a patent for androgenetic alopecia which involves coal tar. There is also a study claiming coal tar interferes with the coenzyme NADP which 5 alpha reductase requires to convert T to DHT.

Do you think there is any merit to using coal tar as a DHT inhibitor much like people use nizoral and/or zinc shampoos?

Are there any dangers of using coal tar shampoo at extra strenth form? I know there has been recent carcinogen scares with coal tar.
Thanks

Answer
I was unaware of the use of coal tar for treating male pattern baldness. I do know that Nizoral (ketoconizole) does inhibit 5 alpha reductase as do shampoos with zinc pyrithione. Coal tar shampoos have been used for many decades on a regular basis and I have not read of any dangers. Coal tar rubbed into hairless mouse skin can cause cancers but so far it has been difficult to duplicate in humans. I personally use a 2% zinc pyrithione shampoo -DHS zinc-. I do not have seborrheic dermatitis but I like the way if feels and I know it inhibits DHT.

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Peter J. Panagotacos, <B>M.D.</B>

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I have 30 years experience in the field of medical and surgical Hair Restoration and am Board Certified in Dermatology and Hair Restoration Surgery.

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I have 30 years experience in the field of medical and surgical Hair Restoration and am Board Certified in Dermatology and Hair Restoration Surgery. More information can be found at my website www.hairdoc.com

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